Open Source Initiative Extends Affiliate Program to Higher Education

Recognizing the growth of open source software within higher education information technology, the OSI has expanded their community Affiliate Memberships to colleges and universities.

June 22, 2015 - PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Driven by the promise of reduced costs, increased pace of innovation, community-driven development and shared services, institutions of higher education are increasingly moving to open source software solutions. In order to help colleges and universities across the globe maximize their opportunities through participation in both the development of open source software as well as the communities of practice which support those projects, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) announced at the 2015 Open Apereo Conference, the extension of the non-profit's popular Affiliate Member Program.

Affiliate membership is the ideal way for institutions of higher education to support the mission of the OSI and contribute to the continued awareness and adoption of open source software, while growing their own local open source software initiatives, portfolios and communities on campus and across higher education. In addition to the Apereo Foundation, other current OSI Affiliates include: Creative Commons, Drupal Association, LibreOffice, Linux Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Wikimedia and WordPress Foundation to name a few.

OSI General Manager Patrick Masson made the announcement during his general session presentation at the Apereo Foundation's OpenApereo Conference. “The OSI is excited to welcome the higher education community which already has a tradition of collaboration, peer-review, co-creation and sharing. Apereo represents nearly 100 institutions of higher education internationally and is doing amazing work across the open source landscape, not only supporting 10+ projects but also fostering engagement at both the campus and even system level. The OSI can compliment these efforts and extend the resources available to institutions participating in open source.”

The OSI Affiliate Member Program, available at no-cost, invites non-profit and not-for-profit organizations to directly participate in the direction and development of the OSI through Board of Directors elections as well as incubator projects and working groups that support the open source movement. Affiliate members engage with some of the world's most successful open source software leaders, projects, businesses and communities through member driven initiatives to, not only raise awareness and adoption of open source software, but also to extend and improve their own open source efforts through co-creation, collaboration and community.

"There is much to do to help higher education understand and realize the benefits of open source software" said Ian Dolphin, Apereo Foundation Executive Director, " Apereo values it's partnership with the OSI, and welcomes this initiative as helping deepen and sustain conversations around the real value of openness and open source software for the sector."

Of particular value for colleges and universities that join the OSI as Affiliate members are variety of higher education-focused resources: a catalog of materials and references to help administrators, IT departments, faculty, staff and students realize success with open source software, development and communities; OSI sponsorship of local campus-driven working groups and initiatives related to open source; and of course, partnerships with peer institutions, other open source organizations and experts from a variety of fields.

Campuses interested in learning more about the expanded Affiliate Member Program can visit the OSI website at http://opensource.org/affiliates or contact the OSI directly via opensource.org/contact.

About Apereo
The Apereo Foundation was formed by the merger of Jasig and the Sakai Foundation in late December 2012. Sakai and Jasig had pioneered the production and adoption of open source software for higher education for over ten years. Apereo will take that work further, providing a more rational and improved organizational umbrella for a range of projects and software communities serving higher education. The core mission of the Foundation is to "assist and facilitate educational organizations which collaborate to foster, develop, and sustain open technologies and innovation to support learning, teaching, and research.” Learn more at www.apereo.org.

About the Open Source Initiative
Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative (http://opensource.org) protects and promotes open source by providing a foundation for community success. It champions open source in society through education, infrastructure and collaboration. As the steward of the Open Source Definition, the OSI is recognized internationally as the sole standards body for certifying open source licenses and preventing abuse of the open source concept by bad actors. The (OSI) is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Media Contact
Ed Schauweker
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